The Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) countries have been facing a huge challenge in the case of medical accessibility as the expat workforce do not have enough healthcare facilities, said Dr Azad Moopen, a leading entrepreneur in health sector in Middle East.
He was speaking about affordability, accessibility and quality healthcare in the Middle East as part of a plenary session at the second day of Global Healthcare Summit here on Wednesday.
“Things have improved during the past five years through a better insurance mechanism. The governments are taking care of the local people, leaving the healthcare responsibility of expatriates to the private sector through the employers,” Dr Moopen, who has a network of 150 healthcare establishments across the Middle East, said.
Mandatory accreditation for all clinical establishments by at least one international agency and strict licensing system have improved the quality in healthcare delivery in the Gulf, he said.
“There are around 1,500 Indian doctors in GCC countries - nearly 1,000 in UAE alone. The biggest challenge is the lack of trained medical personnel. Once India used to be the mainstay supplier. Now, the condition is competitive as doctors do not prefer the destination. However, the situation is still better in the case of nurses and lab technicians,” Dr Moopen said.
Dr M S Valiathan suggested that India should adopt lessons from countries like Bangladesh and Thailand to evolve strategies, especially like the bulk purchase of generic drugs by the governments.